China National Space Administration has named its first Mars rover as Zhurong after a traditional fire god. The name signifies igniting the flame of Planetary Explorations of China.

About Zhurong

  • It is on board Tianwen-1 Space probe.
  • Zhurong arrived at the Mars orbit in February 2021 and is due to land on the planet in May 2021.
  • With Zhurong, the People’s Republic of China will become the third country after USSR and USA to achieve soft landing on Red Planet. Also, it will become the second country put a rover on Mars after the United States of America.
  • The Zhurong weighs 240 kg and is solar powered.
  • It carries multispectral cameras and instruments to analyse the composition of the rocks. It will investigate subsurface characteristics with ground penetrating radar.

About Tianwen-1

  • The main aim of Tianwen-1 is to analyse and map the Martian surface and look for water ice and study the climate and surface environment.
  • Tianwen-1 was launched in July 2020.
  • It was launched with an orbiter, camera, lander and the Zhurong rover.
  • Tianwen-1 weighs 5 tonnes and is one of the heaviest probes launched to Red Planet.
  • Tianwen-1 was launched in Long March 5 heavy lift launch vehicle.
  • Tianwen-1 was the second of the three space missions sent to Red Planet in 2020. The other missions launched were as follows:
    • The “Hope Orbiter” by UAE
    • Perseverance Rover and Ingenuity helicopter on Mars 2020 by USA

Recent Developments

The People’s Republic of China recently became the first country to land a space probe on the little explored far side of the moon. It returned to the earth in December with lunar rocks for the first time since the 1970s.

China’s first Mars rover Zhurong China’s first Mars rover Zhurong